Light a Candle

Light a Candle

This one is for C., who’s been on my mind lately. I hope you are at peace, wherever you are 🙂

This one is also for my sister and her children, going on a holiday soon. May they all be safe and have a great time!

And finally, this candle is for my mother, who recently booked a trip to Germany in order to cross the Geierlay, Germany’s highest suspension bridge. Not only did she finally make plans, she is going to cross it while being extremely afraid of heights (and I brutally asked for a picture, too!).

I am very proud of her already, even though her trip is not until next week, and will burn this electronic candle (as well as a real one) to send her extra courage and strength 🙂


Who will you burn this month’s candle for?
Letters to Life

Letters to Life (19)

“He who can suppress a moment’s anger may prevent a day of sorrow”
– Random Paper Wisdom –
(but the actual quote is from Tryon Edwards)

Dear Life,

As the Dutch National Rail announced they are changing their “Dear ladies and gentlemen” into a gender-neutral “Dear travellers” I wasn’t sure what to think.

For starters, I thought it was a bit too much. Come on now, we try so hard not to be labelled and here we are creating yet another label: gender neutral. Then I reprimanded myself, because I think I should be open minded and accepting of everyone, including people who feel neither male nor female.

Then I told myself my opinion shouldn’t make me turn on myself: even if I believe I should feel differently, I am entitled to feel what I feel.

Then I just got confused.

For my Blue Sky Tag I scrolled through my Norway pictures and saw some I took of the Northern Lights. I was reminded of one of nature’s most wondrous creations and seeing those images again brought back feelings of happiness and amazement.

The Northern Lights are truly unique (I am not sure if it’s supposed to be spelled with capital letters, but this phenomenon hit me right in the soul so I reckon it’s not misplaced to give it some extra credit). Not just because it’s different every time you see it, but mainly since there is NO WAY you can show someone else what it looks like.

That green colour in the pictures? Yea, it’s in the pictures only. Fun fact: your camera will register Northern Light activity sooner than your eyes will – something to do with the way eyes and camera lenses catch light. So many times, long before your eyes will spot a strangely moving, weird-looking cloud-like thing in the sky and send an excited message to your brains: NORTHERN LIGHTS, your camera display will already show a green smudge across a dark sky:

Please note my camera was not meant to be able to take ANY picture of the Northern Lights, let alone this blurry one.

Your eyes, however, cannot work with this colour. At the most, you’ll be able to see a green or a red glow around the “cloud” you’re staring at, but usually it’s merely a see-through kind of grey.

And even that differs per person.

So you see, there is no way to show anyone exactly what I saw when I experienced the Northern Lights in Norway. It’s different for every person on this planet. Even my co-travellers from back then probably have seen it in different ways than I did, and they were right there standing next to me!

The point is, Life, you are different for every person on this planet. Unique for every family member and close relative. Different for twins, even. Because we’ve all got our own set of eyes with which we perceive you. And there’s no camera in the World that can capture exactly our images of you.

I don’t know what gender neutrals go through, as I’ve felt female for my entirety of you, Life. And that which seems like a silly subject to me might mean the world to someone else, so who am I to judge?

You are like the Northern Lights, Life. Ever changing, ever captivating, and ever so unique. Perhaps it is impossible to show others what you look like to us, but it is not impossible to open our own eyes a bit wider and try to see you in a different (Northern?) light.

X,
Samantha


I find it difficult to imagine what a gender neutral person must feel like. I don’t mean to be hurtful, honestly, I just really want to understand what you feel like and go through. Unfortunately, I don’t know anyone who is gender neutral, but if you are and you’d like to explain to me what it is like for you (without being judged), please let me know.
Dictionary

Earworm of the Week

Music not on a Monday this week, but I heard it on the radio and just knew I had found a new Earworm!

Have yourselves a good weekend!

Cheers 🙂

Aside

Blue Sky Tag

“Your glass will not do you half as much service as a serious reflection on your own mind”
– Mary Astell –

A while ago, Dawn from Journal of Dawn nominated me for the Blue Sky Tag. It’s been long overdue, but today I finally found time to dive in!

This tag comes with a few rules, so let’s tick those off one by one:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you

    Thank you, Dawn! This tag seems like a lot of fun and I wouldn’t be doing it without you, so thanks a mill!

  2. Answer their questions
    1. Is your life, today, half-empty or half-full?
      Tough one. Considering I’ve been having a headache for a few days straight, I’d opt for half-empty. But knowing all the work I’ve done and the effort I managed to put in despite these headaches, my final answer is half-full. Enjoy life even with a little pain 🙂
    2. How have you found goodness from the bad situations in your life?
      Well, one of the biggest and worst situations in my life was when my mother was fighting cancer and I was taking care of her. I had just come out of an depression and I honestly thought I would not be strong enough to carry this, to take care of my mother and run her household and make sure I was doing okay, too. Night after night I’d sit on my bed, just waiting for that ultimate low to come back and crush me, but it never came. Afterwards, I realised my shoulders are a lot stronger than I ever thought. Going through this situation, funnily enough, boosted my self-esteem in a way I never could have imagined. I am one tough cookie 🙂
    3. Which relationships have been the most challenging to you, and what strategies have you created to improve them?
      My middle sister and I don’t see eye-to-eye, and we never will. The best way to “deal” with all that is to pretend things never happened. I learned this after trying to talk things over with her and her batting me off before I even got to make my point. So bury everything that’s negative works here, and I added to that minimal contact. When we do meet up, I try to keep things light and fun. Choosing myself over always trying to please her, works too.
      The relationship between me and my parents has shifted over the years, also because of number 2 up there. Taking care for someone kind of messes with the mother-daughter relationship. What I try to do to improve all this is take interest in my parent’s daily endeavours and give them compliments instead of criticism.
    4. What causes you angst, and how do you overcome it?
      I am terrified my mother will fall ill again and will die. I know, it’s normal for cancer survivors and their family to feel like this. What I do is tell myself maybe I don’t know for sure she’s healthy, but I also don’t know for sure she’s ill. My mother gets checked up every year, so I try to hold on to the positive results of her tests. Further more, I constantly remind myself we’re all going to die one day and it’s best to enjoy the time I have left with her, rather than worry it’s going to be over soon.
    5. Have you ever written your own jokes? Memorized them, and tried them out in a long, boring line at the Post Office . . . Did anyone chortle?
      Maybe when I was a child, but I can’t remember. I go by puns when I get the chance, and if there’s none available sarcasm always helps me out!
    6. What challenges are you facing in your Life right now?
      A lot! Overcoming my fear of failure and my inferiority complex by doing my coaching duties, falling and standing up as I learn. I am facing people who don’t trust me and who load on me the burden of feeling like a loser, while I am also challenging myself to grow more self-respect and self-love.
      Yep, I am a busy little bee.
    7. What do you obsess over? How do you rein in your obsessions?
      My weight. I know, it sounds utterly stupid because I am not overweight at all. But  gained a few kilos, probably in the battle against my hormones, that won’t go away. Whenever I am stressed, I feel I obsess over this most of all, also because my mind never wants to focus on the real problems at hand and shifts to minor issues, blows them up into an obsession. Meditation works here, to ease my mind.
      At the moment I am on a healthy diet and I feel fine physically (apart from the head aches, but I figured out where they come from, so give or take a day or two and I’ll be a-okay!).
    8. What strategies do you employ for stress relief?
      Walking, reading, watching TV (binge watching Modern Family is a good way to relieve stress!) and meditation. Also, listening to your favourite songs is a great way, too. Especially when you combine it with a running session.
    9. What other-wordly phenomena have you experienced? (Intuition, dreams, deja vu, ET, communication with lost loved ones, etc.) What have your learned from them?
      I have a pretty darn good intuition, that I don’t listen to enough. I sometimes dream things that end up coming true and a few days ago I had a pretty big deja-vu while in a session with a trial client. Sometimes I converse with deceased loved ones, through dreams or meditation. But there have been occasions in which I’d hear someone talk to me even though they’ve long passed away.
      They taught me that death is “nothing but an inconvenience”, the future is not written in stone and that my intuition is never far off.
    10. How do you make new friends, or strike up a conversation with a stranger?
      Normally, people come to me. I tend to get shy around new people, but I guess I look so innocent (or lonely or insecure) people strike up a conversation with me. In larger groups where nobody knows each other, I’ll just go around and introduce myself, then be respectful and interested. In Canada I knew nobody of my 29 co-travellers, but I made sure I shared a dinner table with everyone before the end of the trip. I still have some good contacts from that time!
    11. What do you love to create? How do you motivate yourself to do more of what you love to do?
      Stories. I made one of my Daily Goals-homework assignments: write for at least 15 minutes a day. It really helped me to actually write, so every other week I try to keep that a daily goal. Another part of that homework is to reward yourself with something when you’ve achieved your goal, so I use chocolate to make sure I write, write, write 🙂
  3. Create 11 questions for your nominees

    Actually, I think Dawn’s questions were really great! They put my mind to work for sure, so I’d love to forward them to the next Blue Sky Tagger!

  4. Tag your 11 nominees

    Ever since my first blog reward I’ve been scared to nominate anyone for anything. Not because I think people don’t deserve it, but because I ended up nominating people who didn’t want to participate, and I don’t want to a) forget anyone who would love to do this, or b) put someone in a spot where they might feel they’ll hurt my feelings by not cooperating, even though they really don’t want to.
    So, easy way out or being overly politically correct: I nominate everyone on my followers list! Go pour your hearts out and let me know in the comments, so I can tag you in this post and lead more people your way! 🙂


Thank you again, Dawn, for nominating me! Everybody check her blog out at Journal of Dawn.

I hope you had fun reading this, please let me know in the comments if you took me up on my spawning out 500+ nominees instead of 11 😉

I wish you all a great weekend!

Letters to Life

Letters to Life (18)

“You will not let superficial matters rule your heart”
– Random Paper Wisdom –

Dear Life,

Today I woke up feeling incredibly cranky. I have been like this for a few days now, uncertain of the reason why. I suspect it has something to do with my ongoing battle with my hormones, but I feel like I shouldn’t complain about that war ever since we sort-of-kind-of agreed to a ceasefire.

That’s right, I talk about my hormones as if they’re aliens who have invaded my body. Because sometimes that’s exactly what it feels like.

Anyway, Life, you work in strange ways. As I was in the car this morning with my father behind the steering wheel, bickering his way out of the street with my mother who was seated in the back, I honestly thought this was going to be a lost day. I felt so unspeakably annoyed by another one of my parent’s endless and pointless discussions, I was convinced I’d spontaneously explode before we had reached our destination.

But then the strangest thing happened: just before leaving the freeway, my mother spotted my sister driving in the car behind us. We were out to meet her at a children’s dinosaur museum to enjoy her birthday, but since she had to drive a lot further than us it was still a happy coincidence to find her right behind us.

From the moment both of our cars were parked in the lot, I had forgotten all about my sorrows. Seeing my birthday-girl sister with her two kids melted away all crankiness inside me and made room for an explosive amount of love. And just as I thought it couldn’t get any better, my brother-in-law R. also parked his car and unloaded his one-year-old. Three kids in the ages of one to four, that’s pure magic.

And a lot of work.

The good thing about being with small children is people don’t look at you funny when you act like one yourself. So after having been on a swing in the museum’s small playground with my eldest niece, I sat alone on it for a little while, just swinging.

I can’t remember the last time I was on a swing, Life, but that was my supreme joyful moment of the day.

In fact, my nieces and nephew had (unknowingly) managed to get me so happy and grateful, I wasn’t even bothered by my parent’s bickering on the way home.

Thank you, Life, for making sure I am surrounded by amazing people. And thank you for turning my sister’s birthday into a fun and exciting day.

X,
Samantha